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Amazon rolls out 8.9-inch HD Kindle Fire in Santa Monica


Matt DeBord/KPCC

We prepare to enter the Amazondome.


Matt DeBord/KPCC

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, take the stage in Santa Monica.



The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD.



The 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

The word on Amazon's event this morning at the Santa Monica Airport (held an eerie blue-lit hanger) was that the company wouldn't introduce a bigger Kindle Fire, the highly successful tablet that represents the only real challenge to the Apple iPad in the tablet market. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos flouted that expectation, unveiling a new Kindle Fire HD, a high-definition version of the device, with an 8.9-inch display.

It will cost $299, in a 16GB configuration with 3G wireless. And it will benefit from integration with all of Amazon's cloud-based data services. Really, that's the main difference between what Amazon is selling with the Kindle Fire and what Apple has in the market with the iPad — and Bezos relentlessly if not overtly kept the focus there, an unusual yet predictable tactic at en event intended to create excitement about new hardware.